Jigsaw Puzzle

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Zine
Title: Jigsaw Puzzle
Publisher: Gryphon Press
Editor:
Author(s): HG
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): 1996
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Professionals
Language: English
External Links: Jigsaw Puzzle is online here and here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Jigsaw Puzzle is a slash Professionals 148-page (143,272 word) novel by HG. It was originally a circuit zine and then later republished as a print fanzine.

The author notes on Archive of Our Own: "While there are no warnings for rape or non-con there is one scene which may be triggery for some. The story is set in the early 1980s, hence the lack of gadgets we take for granted."

Some Circuit Examples

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

Fans have argued for years if it was rape, or only near-rape, but it was close enough for me. A novel by H.G. written over 15 years ago, but still great today. [1]
Yet another classic, and one of my favorites. A big, complex wallow in angst, with plenty of suffering before the thoroughly enjoyable resolution. I do like her characterization — I never have to strain to see a Bodie and Doyle that I recognize in her stories. [2]

1993

A novel in which Bodie does very unpleasant (psychological) things to Doyle for 100 pages before we finally get a break... I've heard that some fans actually toss it against the wall and refuse to continue reading."[3]

1994

I thoroughly hated the first 100 pages or so of "Jigsaw Puzzle" and quite enjoyed the second half. The first half puts the Lads through an angst blender, with no discernibly intelligent character motivations. But they get better. [4]

1996

Reviewer's disclaimer: The following are my opinions and mine alone. No one gave them to me and I don't expect anyone to take them on as their own. You agree with what I say, great! If you don't, please speak up. I might scratch, but I don't bite.  :-)

The version I am reviewing is the circuit novel and therefore the version that is available from Debbie on disk. I understand that Sara S. will be putting out a new, revised version by HG sometime soon. Can't wait to see that.

I'm afraid this is going to be a fairly boring review because, quite frankly, there's very little about this story that I don't love. HG has actually written my three favorite Pros novels: MASTER OF THE REVELS, RAINBOW CHASERS and JIGSAW PUZZLES. It's interesting that all three are technically aus, but all three are aus in completely different ways. You have the actual totally different universe, fantasy/sci-fi/definitely not CI5-kind of way. You have the sort of different occupation (at least for Ray) universe where they are set in a reality we all still recognize. And then there is JIGSAW PUZZLE which shows us Our Boys, in Our CI5, and then shows us a whatif.

While I find JP well-written with very few lapses, I have to admit that this is a novel that hits a lot of my kinks: It gives us a scenario where we see the show, but then veers off from it at a certain point to show how things might have been different if they had turned right instead of left. It has emotional angst that is brought upon by misunderstandings between the two, misunderstandings which are directly caused by their own personalities. Oh and a certain bit of manipulation from a certain Scot...

JP is unusual that it starts with a sexual relationship already established between Bodie and Doyle, though things are hardly smooth sailing. Soon, Bodie has done a debunk and the next thing that's known a year has passed. A year in which Bodie has tried to make a new life and Doyle has been shot and quit CI5/taken leave. Let's just say neither of them has had a really good year. And once they see each other, they hardly fall immediately into each other's arms, sobbing for joy.

The basic excuse for getting the two of them together is someone is leaking to the press some information that has fallen into CI5's pervue. Nothing severe or irrevocable so far, but definitely enough to cause Cowley a bit of concern and certainly enough for him to justify to himself (as Bodie and Doyle use it as an excuse to themselves) to track down the pair of them and reunite the team. It's sufficiently minor enough to possibly excuse the lax investigation Ray and Bodie seem to show it while getting caught up in their personal problems. (Okay, so I was more interested in the relationship stuff than in all that niggling case stuff.) Even with that, though, I have to admit that I liked the resolution to the case--if in a cream puff kind of way. (Sometimes an eclair is just a Twinkie.)

All in all I highly recommend this novel for those of you who haven't read it yet. It's one of my favorites with lots of the emotional angst that I love in a well written slash story. It has a happy ending, but it makes Bodie and Doyle *work* for that happy ending and while everything is fairly nicely resolved at the end with the two of them safely snuggled together, I didn't see it as the 'and they never ever fought again' mold that I hate so much in several other Pros stories I've seen. I can't wait to see what the re-edited and revised version will look like. [5]

1999

One of the first things I read and one of the best A CI5 B&D who start as the characters I know and love and grow into exactly what I think they would be. Even better, it settles the question - in a most satisfactory manner - of what they'd do once they were too old for the streets. HG leaves them older, wiser, happy and sassy, and who could ask for more?" [6]

2006

Jigsaw Puzzle? Not sure whether you've read this one? Well, as I said elsewhere, I've read this several times - it's on the Proslib CD, of course, not on CA or Hatstand, along with 39 others by HG which I must finish reading! Away on hol for a few days, I had more leisurely time to re-read it and confirmed my feeling that this one is be my current favourite story. Why? Well. I'm not terribly good at this criticism lark, but I suppose I like the way the characters develop and grow through the story, how they both have to confront their problems and overcome them, I like the realism. In a lot of stories, one of them is shot or terribly injured and, within a very short time, they are fully recovered and back to full fitness. Well, you're in the medical profession, I gather, so you'd know better than me, but it always seems to me that it takes a while to recover from really major stuff like that and that you don't come back exactly the same sometimes. So I liked the realism of the recovered but altered Ray. You're not the author, are you? There did seem to be some medical knowledge in there - the lung problem Ray has, etc. The characterisation seems spot on to me, they read like the Lads to me, nothing jarrs as I read. And that goes for Cowley, Murphy and others, all spot on. I like an angry Bodie, too who just can't cope with his need for Ray, nor without him. And it resolves itself and moves on so you can imagine the older lads (and older lads are a favourite of mine!).

Right, well, I'll just go and start it again, I think! [7]

2013

"I love this story. It hits a lot of my hurt/comfort buttons, it has the Lads in their own milieu being competent, but it also has them taking control of their own destiny. And it has interesting subsidiary characters. The other thing I find interesting about it is the structure. It's almost perfectly symmetrical -- things go down and down and down until they hit bottom around the middle, and from there things steadily improve, with a few small bumps in the road."[8]
I've read it before, lots and lots of times, but it's one I always come back to, too. It's funny though, I always forget it's in various pieces, though I don't think that's the jigsaw puzzle of the title - though maybe it is! I think what I like is the vulnerability of the lads all through it - without them actually coming over as vulnerable at all, they're totally in character! So... insight into them as real people, might be a better way of describing it! But oh for the way they ache for each other... [9]
I love this story and have read it several times. As you say, they are totally in character. I think my only quibble is that it's hard for me to think that Bodie wouldn't have noticed that he was hurting Doyle as much as he was during his almost-rape—or that he would even think if raping Doyle in the first place, no matter how mad he was at him.[10]
For me the lads have both been hurting so much that I can see them doing something through these emotions that would seem out of character for them normally... the impact they had on each other went so much more deeply than just mad, it was that... love/hate when they're both the same thing somehow, so... so it worked for me, even that part... But I do like fic that delves into the darker sides people have too, so... *g*[11]
So what would you say about Bodie's behaviour in "The Chameleon Dish" by Kitty Fisher! (Not intending to move the discussion astray toward another story; it just came to my mind as a counterpoint). And about Doyle's behaviour in "Choosing" by Kate Maclean? In comparison I don't find Bodie so nasty in HG's story. Though I should maybe read it again, me too... [12]
I found Bodie's behaviour in "The Chameleon Dish," a bit extreme, though I really like that story, too. It's been awhile since I've read "Choosing," but I'll assume that I had the same response since I really enjoy Kate's work. I guess it comes down to that I can enjoy a story, even if there's a particular scene that doesn't work for me. In these scenes I don't see either, no matter how angry they are, resorting to rape. [13]
This is one of my all time favourite Pros stories and makes for a long, angsty, but ultimately enjoyable, read.

I did find Bodie deliberately cruel in some of his dealings with Doyle but on the whole I like how the relationship is deconstructed and slowly rebuilt.

I agree too that there are a couple of very good original characters in this story.

I am a big fan of HG's writing and would happily recommend any story by her. [14]
HG's stories are fab, aren't they!

I think I know what you mean about Bodie being deliberately cruel, but for me HG's built up such hurt between them that I can see it coming out in all kinds of ways, and I think it makes sense for Bodie here...

And yes for the original characters too! Something else that makes a good writer, I reckon, even if I am really here for the B/D... *g* [15]
Yes, I like this one, although it's a long time since I read it and probably can't remember half the story. I remember having a vision of Doyle as he is in the eps - clean shaven and curly haired - instead of bearded and straight hair and got terribly confused when the change in appearance caused problems! A lovely, long story moving from the worry about how the boys split up, their coming back together - all very plausible - the development or redevelopment of their close relationship all set within a good, strong storyline. Hopefully, I'm not spoiling this for anyone, but only Bodie could be caught in a hijack situation because he'd stopped off to by KY! I don't remember plot holes or anything that irritated me - I am an HG fan. [16]
This was the story you sent me as a file in 2004 when I asked for a standard slash Pros fic. At the time the only long story I had read was Shoshanna's "Don't let me down" (and got flamed because I had written in a discussion that I found Bodie not really in character there!). Actually, since I have watched the show, there are very few fictions where I find the characters "in character" but it doesn't help me from enjoying them as fictions. [17]
There are probably more Pros stories out there where I find them out of character, but there are lots that I think are in character too! I guess we all have our own visions of what the lads (including Cowley!) are like, and how they'd react to things. I tend to think of it as a big spider's web of visions - at the centre are the episodes, and everyone has their own interpretation, so we all spread out from the centre. Some people have interpretations very close to mine, but others are on the opposite side of the web, and sometimes there seem to be huge holes in the web between my interpretation and someone else's! Sometimes the connecting threads are strong enough that I can see how they got there, and I can get to their side of the web happily enough... other times not! *g*[18]

Summary: The pieces of a relationship coming apart and slowly coming back together.

Reccer's Notes: This is a fandom favorite, and one of my favorite Pros novels as well. HG's summary is perfect, really; that's exactly what this story is, woven into a solid case story. It's future fic as well, although not far future; it starts with a series-era Bodie and Doyle who are burning out and whose fuck-buddy relationship isn't enough for either of them anymore, even though neither of them knows how to cope with that, and eventually everything falls to pieces. When they reconnect because of a new case, they slowly begin to rebuild their relationship, stronger. The case story is solid, too, weaving in and out of everything.. [19]

References

  1. Issues of Consent
  2. from This is Katya
  3. Review posted June 1993 to the Virgule-L mailing list quoted with permission.
  4. comment by Alexfandra, September 27, 1994, Virgule-l, quoted with permission
  5. In 1995 Michelle Christian posted this review to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.
  6. from DIAL #11
  7. September 2006 comment at CI5hq; reference link
  8. comment in the "Random Reading - Jigsaw Puzzle by HG" post in ci5hq dated April 4, 2013; Archive.is link (accessed 8 Apr 2013).
  9. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  10. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  11. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  12. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  13. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  14. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  15. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  16. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  17. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  18. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  19. Fancake Rec, by Arduinna, January 12, 2013